Penalizing backlinks considered intentionally manipulating the ranking in Google gave rise to controversial linkbuilding strategies that:
– either seek to gain as many natural links as possible,
– either try to acquire backlinks that seem naturally obtained.
There are also off site SEO optimization strategies and online marketing no longer relies too heavily on backlinks because:
– the natural ones are pretty hard to obtain and in a fairly long time,
– the cost of backlinks which pose no risk of penalty is very high.
Interesting in this context is the question addressed to Matt Cutts (head of Google’s anti-spam team): How does Google appreciate the quality of a site if there are no backlinks (links) to the content?
The reply given by the representative of Google is simple: the contents of web pages! Namely:
– key words/phrases from the text (representative provided that excessive repetition will be considered spam “keyword stuffing” )
– the quality of the content (and here we add new: originality and uniqueness, relevance)
– varied key phrases
– a web domain with a good reputation
From my point of view, the answer got as such is pretty simplistic and leaves room for interpretation. But the essence is another and he found again a good opportunity to say: instead of spending money and time on link-building strategies that may not bring you any benefit (or perhaps will have negative effects) OR instead to focus all the energy and all resources on a few keywords/key phrases (already has become extremely competitive or simply so used by aggressive marketing strategies in a way that internet users have already developed a distaste for them) IT IS BETTER to place you on a niche or build your own niche and focus attention on the quality of the content on users and then obtaining backlinks (obviously, backlinks are also necessary ).